Parenting through the stages of development come with their own unique concerns and challenges. Many parents are searching for ways and implementing special events to express how much they care about whats going on in their children's lives. One way that parents can most effectively communicate that they are interested in their child's success is by finding ways to show them how much they care. One such event is a coming of age ceremony. I had the pleasure of attending one such ceremony earlier in this month. It was wonderful!
Here was a 13 year old young lady dressed in a beautiful and appropriate party dress. She was surrounded by her parents, siblings, friends, extended family, and church family. The evening began with a short ceremony where this lovely thirteen year old had the pleasure of hearing her mother and father speak works of wisdom and encouragement to her. She got to hear her pastors do the same. She got the opportunity to see all the men in her life surround her and her father and pray for her. She also saw many of the women she has grown to know and love surround her and her mother and pray for them. The evening followed whit a delightful dinner celebration and dancing.
Additionally, there were several key moments to the evening that are worth sharing individually. One of the most memorable points of the evening was observing this budding young lady stand before her family and friends (a room with about 200 people) and give a profession of faith. She shared what she understands her purpose in life to be at this point and how she plans to honor God with her life-- by being just who God created her to be and not being pulled down by peer pressure. Secondly, her father professed his love for her and his life's responsibility of caring for her even as she matures into a young woman. This segment ended with her father placing a promise ring on her finger that served as a covenant between them both. His commitment to be there for her and her commitment to keep her body pure until he gives her away in marriage.
The evening was a really special occasion for a teenager. She could look around the room and see all the people that care about her. As she begins her life as a teen she has a wonderful visual of all the people that are looking out for her and anticipating her accomplishments in life. What a special gift for christian parents to give their 13 year old.
Definitely one of the greatest ways to help children prepare for the teenage years is to let them know that there are a host of people believing in them and praying for them. It does not necessarily have to be a fancy event as the one recounted here but it can be a simple and intimate gathering of close family and friends to celebrate the gift that a new teen is his/her family.